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Meet The Team

Our team is comprised of professionals who take their work very seriously but don’t take themselves too seriously. We are engaged and motivated to help create a culture of care, advocacy, and excellence to have a lasting positive impact on the ABA field.

Our executive team has more than 80 years of experience in healthcare operations. We understand all aspects of sustainably growing a business and focus all of our time and attention on providing our clinical teams with the support they need, to allow them to focus on their patients.

Our clinical leadership team comprises professionals with diverse backgrounds: healthcare, academia, industry advocacy, nonprofit and more. Our team has a deep understanding of the unique challenges each region presents and is skilled in developing partners to grow their practices.

Tim Clark
Chief Operations Officer
Tim Clark
Chief Operations Officer

Tim Clark joined Cultivate Behavioral Health and Education, a growing ABA Therapy Provider, in October 2019. As the Chief Operations Officer, he oversees Cultivate’s workforce, facilities, and operations at the Austin-based headquarters across Cultivate’s business holdings. Tim provides substantial strategic direction for Cultivate’s expanding business capabilities, while ensuring Cultivate has the proper tools and resources to fulfill its critical work of improving the lives of their patients and families.

Bringing over 25 years of senior management experience Tim has a proven track record of analyzing an organizations critical business requirements; identifying deficiencies and creating opportunities. With his robust track record of growing an organization to triple its size, he is able to nurture innovative, cost-effective solutions for enhancing competitiveness, increasing revenue and improving the patient experience. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Texas State and earned a Master of Science from Oklahoma State University where he has served as Director of the Alumni Association for South Texas.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#nota #er #gopokes

My Spirit Animal?

Omar Abdullah

Jonathon Curlett
Chief Financial Officer
Jonathon Curlett
Chief Financial Officer

Jonathon has a diverse background in Accounting & Finance with many years in Behavioral Health. He has led organizations on both the Payor and Provider sides. His experience is in both public and private companies of various sizes. Jonathon enjoys spending time with family & friends, outdoor activities and trying new restaurants.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#FinanceRocks #Math_Is_Fun #Team

My Spirit Animal?

Unicorn

What movie title best describes my life?

Either Groundhog Day or The Accountant

Melissa L. Olive, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
Chief Clinical Officer
Melissa L. Olive, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
Chief Clinical Officer

Missy Olive’s brother, Mac, is the foundation of her mission for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). In her early teens Missy, along with her 3 other brothers, traveled with her Mom and Mac to his ABA therapy. She credits her pursuit of helping children to working with her family to help Mac complete his ABA homework. Her mother’s legacy remains a strong influence because of her determination to make life better for her brother.

Missy joined Cultivate in December of 2020 after founding and nurturing her business, Applied Behavioral Strategies, which Cultivate acquired. As the Chief Clinical Officer, she ensures that all Cultivate clients receive exemplary clinical services. In conjunction with the Corporate Clinical Team Missy will assist in the development and implementation of our Outcomes Project, Clinical Risk Mitigation, Clinical Ethical Concerns, and Clinical Staff Training. 

Mac is still a very big part of Missy’s life. He is a constant influence on her and her family. Missy lives with her husband, Norm, and his two daughters, her “bonus children”, as she calls them. Missy enjoys working out with beach body on demand, running, cycling, gluten-free baking, and traveling. She has been to all 50 states.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#ClientRights #ClinicalQuality #FiercelyPassionate

My Spirit Animal?

I love all animals, but my spirit animal is the Sea Turtle

What movie title best describes my life?

The Miracle Worker

Jeff Ochall
VP of Acquisitions
Jeff Ochall
VP of Acquisitions

Since 2010, Jeff has worked for industry leading technologies developed specifically for ABA providers. Through these opportunities, he acquired the ability to create customizable solutions for both operational and clinical aspects of an ABA business. Jeff joined Cultivate in 2019 as the Vice President of Acquisitions.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#pound #nohashtag #hashtag

My Spirit Animal?

Yeti

What movie title best describes my life?

SuperBad

Mark Shelson
VP of Corporate Development
Mark Shelson
VP of Corporate Development

As VP of Corporate Development, Mark coordinates due diligence efforts on partnership opportunities and assists in corporate strategy. Prior to Cultivate, Mark worked in both private equity and investment banking. He has degrees in Finance and Economics from the University of Wisconsin. Mark enjoys traveling without plans, basketball, oysters and flipping off the diving board at Barton Springs.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#coldweatherbad #tacosallday #orangemochafrapppucino

My Spirit Animal?

I like birds! Hawk, Falcon, Eagle

What movie title best describes my life?

La La Land

Karen Smithson, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
VP of Human Resources
Karen Smithson, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
VP of Human Resources

Karen Smithson, Director of Human Resources, joined Cultivate in 2020. As a certified and seasoned HR professional, her HR philosophy focuses on centering the HR Department at the crossroads of culture and compliance. Her decision to join the Cultivate team was due in large part to the company’s investment in human capital, recognizing the direct connection between employee engagement and the delivery of high-quality services to our patients and their families. Prior to joining Cultivate, Karen worked in professional services, non-profits, and health care organizations.

She is a Texas native, avid reader and lover of stories, trained mediator, group facilitator, and a Certified DiSC Facilitator. She has a life-long
commitment to community service and has served in leadership roles for both professional and non-profit organizations.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#loverofstories #resourceful #glass1/2full

My Spirit Animal?

Owl

What movie title best describes my life?

It’s a Wonderful Life

Mallory Morrison
VP of Marketing and Outreach
Mallory Morrison
VP of Marketing and Outreach

As VP of Marketing and Outreach, Mallory leads the Community Outreach team with a mission of navigating families through the autism journey. She began her own journey in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2011 as an Intake Coordinator; navigating the complex and new world of insurance coverage for children diagnosed with Autism. Over the last decade she has held many roles in the ABA field including working closely with diverse private and governmental funding sources, managed-care credentialing, marketing, private business consulting, project management, business administration and various leadership roles. She is driven by a personal passion to educate, empower, and advocate for families and children diagnosed with Autism.

In her free time, you will find her caring for her 75+ houseplants, traveling with her husband, watching The Office for the 83rd time, or hanging out with her two dogs.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#plantmom #spoonie #autismacceptance

My Spirit Animal?

Grackle

What movie title best describes my life?

Brave

Stephen J Wood, MSW, BCBA, LBA
Director of Special Projects
Stephen J Wood, MSW, BCBA, LBA
Director of Special Projects

Stephen J Wood, MSW, BCBA, LBA is a Board Certified and LicensedBehavior Analyst residing in Lexington, KY. Stephen is a graduate of Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky College of Social Work. Stephen initially obtained BCaBA certification in 2003, and BCBA certification in 2008. Stephen served six years on the Kentucky Applied Behavior Analyst Licensure Board, and currently serves as a board member with the Child Development Center of the Bluegrass and the ABA Advocates-KY provider group. Stephen is a member of the KY-ABA Executive Committee and in 2020, Stephen became the President Elect for the KY Association for Behavior Analysis (KYABA).

Stephen joined Cultivate’s team following the successful acquisition of his program ABC by Cultivate Behavior Health and Education in
December, 2019. In his role as Director of Special Projects, Stephen is charged first and foremost with promoting Cultivate’s employee positive culture and mission of providing the highest quality of clinical care. Stephen is routinely involved with special projects identified by Cultivate including: clinical, outreach, protection and advocacy, due diligence, and conference participation.

Stephen is an avid nature and outdoor sports enthusiast. He enjoys rollerblading, biking, hiking, gardening, and dog parking with his boxer dogs.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#grateful #cinderfella #boxerdoglover

My Spirit Animal?

Boxer Dog

What movie title best describes my life?

Fantasia (1940 Film)

Rachel Sherek, M.S., BCBA, LBA-TX
Director of Clinical Operations
Rachel Sherek, M.S., BCBA, LBA-TX
Director of Clinical Operations

Rachel joined the Cultivate team in March 2018 as the clinical operations manager. In this position, she worked to develop organizational systems to support quality clinical care, specifically through the oversight of treatment plan development, staff training programs, and acting as a liaison between clinical and operational systems. Rachel now serves as the Director of Clinical Operations and continues her work to support the organization’s ability to deliver high quality services. She supports program and systems development, coordinates staff training programs, and oversees clinical quality initiatives for all our partners. Rachel has a bachelors in Biology from The University of Texas at Austin and earned her Master’s in Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys gardening, raising chickens, and serving as a music minister for her local church.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#gardeningislife #sustainableliving #bornmusician

My Spirit Animal?

Spider

What movie title best describes my life?

The Biggest Little Farm

Nissa Van Etten, M.A., BCBA, LBA-TX
Director of Clinical Services
Nissa Van Etten, M.A., BCBA, LBA-TX
Director of Clinical Services

As Director of Clinical Services Nissa works with the clinical team to ensure best practices in treatment for each individual patient. Nissa supports clinicians in training, case conceptualization, and clinical development. Nissa is passionate about behavior analysis and has been working in the field for over 20 years. Prior to joining Cultivate Nissa worked with children with autism in California providing direct treatment, parent training, and school consultation. Nissa received a Bachelor’s in Psychology at the University of California, Irvine and her Master’s in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in ABA at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Nissa is currently completing her doctoral studies in behavior analysis and hopes to complete her Ph.D. in 2021. Nissa loves impacting future behavior analysts and instilling passion for the science in everyone she meets. During downtime you can find Nissa at the Crossfit gym, hiking with her three kids, husband, and dogs.

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#momlife #bcbyay #teamnosleep

My Spirit Animal?

Black Panther

What movie title best describes my life?

13 Going on 30

Melissa Schissler, M.Ed., BCBA
Regional Vice President
Melissa Schissler, M.Ed., BCBA
Regional Vice President
3 hashtags that best describe me:

# # #

Ozzie Holmgren, M.Ed., BCBA
Regional Vice President
Ozzie Holmgren, M.Ed., BCBA
Regional Vice President

Ozgul “Ozzie” Holmgren, M.Ed, BCBA is the founder of Pediatric Therapy Group in Chicago, IL.  She has over 20 years of experience working in the field of special education with an emphasis in pediatric development.  She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and a Master of Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.  She received her board certification from the BACB in 2018.  She enjoys mentoring BCBA candidates and educating family’s on ABA principles in underserved communities.  She is excited to join the Cultivate team and assist in growing the company’s mission to deliver effective therapy services and make significant changes to clients’ lives.   

When she is not changing lives one client at a time, she loves traveling with her husband and daughter and checking out the newest restaurant in town.    

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#foodie #adventurous #dedicated

My Spirit Animal?

Peacock – outgoing, influential, social, energetic, curious and loyal.

What movie title best describes my life?

Wonder Woman

Maria Arizmedi, M.S., BCBA
Regional Vice President
Maria Arizmedi, M.S., BCBA
Regional Vice President

Maria Arizmendi, BCBA has dedicated herself to the special-needs community from the moment, two decades ago, she came to the United States from Colombia and worked as a nanny for a child with autism. Since then, as an advocate, college professor, therapist and business owner, Maria has tirelessly employed Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) to empower special-needs families. Maria has been recognized as UM-CARD’s outstanding clinician of the year, the South Florida Business Journal as one of South Florida’s top executives under the age of 40, and also by her three little girls, who think she is a “cool mom.” Maria’s business, Progressive Behavioral Science, known by many South Florida families as “where love meets science,” was brought into the Cultivate family in 2020. Maria cannot wait to work with her new team to change lives and bring joy to families on a wider stage. In the 5 or 6 minutes each week not consumed by her twin passions of ABA and raising her three feisty little daughters, Maria loves to eat dulce de leche on Saltines, travel and to horseback ride. 

3 hashtags that best describe me:

#AwarenessInclusionAcceptance #TheAmericanDream #joyfulmama

My Spirit Animal?

A spider, who suspends the laws of nature and time to build something slowly and deliberately both beautiful and necessary.

What movie title best describes my life?

“Life is Beautiful,” because life- in its sadness and joy- is what we make of it.

What Can We Do For You

Grow Your Business
Create a Culture of Care
Support Your Dreams
Empower Your Clinicians
Help You Focus on Your Patients
Motivate Excellence
Improve Communication
Exceed Expectations

What We Might Do For You

Dress your pet in human clothes
Take the perfect group selfie
Do our own version of carpool karaoke
Make an ice sculpture of your spirit animal
Use the words affect and effect correctly
Perform your psychic reading based on tea leaves
Sit through a documentary about Carpenter Ants

About the Artist

 

Nicolas (“Nico”) Martinez is a freelance animator, storyboard artist, and illustrator based in Flossmoor, Illinois located just outside of Chicago.

Born in 1988 with high functioning autism, Nicolas has always loved to draw and illustrate cartoons as his means of communication and expression. Nicolas holds two undergraduate degrees from the American Academy of Art (Illustration) and Columbia College Chicago (Animation). Nicolas’ robust freelance portfolio includes commercial entities including Calabash Animation Inc., and 321 FastDraw Inc., as well as nonprofit clients such as Urban Autism Solutions, and LEEP Forward, Inc.

“I think my autism actually helps me in my work, as it lends me a unique focus and precision that makes me a reliable hire and someone who has extraordinary focus. When I immerse myself in animation, my handicaps disappear.”

In his spare time, Nicolas works part-time at Dunning’s Market. He also loves to read, watch old movies, and hone his skills as an artist.